tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS January 19, 2013 12:30pm-1:00pm PST
presidential mismaking. >> president obama arranged a new year's deal to elude the fiscal cliff. republicans and democrats both consented to the deal. now neither party is happy with the outcome. democrats complain that obama caved. because the president's plan allows george w. bush's tax cuts to become permanent. for those making less than $400,000 a year. these democrat critics fear that obama's second term instead of being quote, unquote bold will be quote, unquote cautious as his first term. and on the right, republicans moan and grown and say that -- groan and say that obama is demeaning in the way he deals with house speaker john boehner. hold on, says columnist rockman. we expect too much of obama he says because in the united states, we subscribe to the
quote, unquote myth of the imperial presidency. other transformational democratic presidents such as fdr and lbj, rockman says, have substantial democratic majorities in both the senate and in the house to enact their landmark legislation. obama in contrast has had to work with a narrow democratic majority in the senate and with an opposition party, the republicans in control of the house for the two years since january 2011. well, what about ronald reagan? president of the united states two successful four-year terms. on the domestic front, he enacted a major economic recovery package followed by an overhaul of social security. and in his second term, reagan gained a major tax reform. on the defense front, republican president reagan again with the help of the rity presided over a major increase
in the defense budget, congress presided over a major increase in the defense budget, the defe including straby millions of protesters here and abroad. also commander in chief reagan gained secret aid for freedom fighters in central america, the quote unquote contras. in his second term reagan negotiated a nuclear arms control treaty with our then by senate. enemy the soviet union ratified by a democratic center. in republican reagan could work with democrats controlling both the house and for two years the senate, why can't president obama, a democrat, achieve more with republicans who control the house and his democrats who control the senate? >> there's a lot of myth about tip o'neal and ronald reagan working together. they did not. >> you saw the picture. >> they did not. look, in reagan's first term, you know who he worked with? he had a republican senate by
ten votes and he had a democratic house that had 40 guys in it called blue dog democrats and danny of chicago. these are the guys he worked with on his economic package. i went into the white house in 1985, john. reagan had won 49 states and they beat him again and again on contra aid. he fought for it. he finally got that through. we had to fight to get the missile through. >> what's the point? >> the point is when the democrats took over the senate, they not only borked ronald bork, they almost got ronald reagan, attempted to impeach him. we had democrats we could work with. >> i'm saying that all things considered, he had remarkable success in dealing with democrats. >> no, he didn't. >> yes, he d. you saw the record. -- he did. you sawed record. >> he had success bringing the blue dogs whose congressional
districts he carried. they came with him. the rest of the democrats fought him every single year-- >> he got the legislation passed. he got the deals cut. eleanor? >> john is right. it doesn't matter how you put the coalition together. if you win in the end, you've won. reagan and tip o'neal both understood the value of marketing this relationship they had. they probably had a cigar together maybe two times in eight years, but they put those pictures out and they wanted the world to know that these two ieshmen could get -- irishmen could get along. it was a valuable marketing tool. you could add another example to that president eisenhower who worked with democratic leaders, lyndon johnson. i talked with the brookings scholar who was a young aide in the eisenhower white house. he said eisenhower was deeply not do anything. an and lbj but he knew to make things work you had to have this getting along. the key difference here is
johnson, rayburn, o'neal, they could deliver. this president does not have someone who can deliver and in the senate, republicans have abused the fill bupser. -- filibuster. >> describe eisenhower? >> he was devious. >> he was the most devious person nixon had ever known. you said, i mean that in a positive sense. >> they could work together. >> reagan was not actually dealing with a house my majority, -- minority, that there was a conservative majority in the house. when you add the republicans and conservative democrats. what we had was ideological sorting since then of the the parties were nor geographical. nowadays if you're conservative, you're republican. if you're a liberal, you're a democrat. obama is up against an actual
majority of conservative house members. reagan didn't have to face a majority of liberals. >> how do you have to account for obama in the area of negotiating skills? why doesn't he have the negotiating skills? >> he has the skills. >> you think he does? >> i think he z. i know he z. the problem is if i could add to my colleagues here is that the current house is controlled by republicans who don't want to get things done. whereas reagan had republicans and democrats who did want to get things done. they wanted to turn out legislation. tip o'neal and reagan could deal. reagan could get some of what he wanted. but the problem is, the republicans in the house now are quite committed. the tea party wing has really prevented anything from being produced. and they go back home and brag about it that they blocked up legislation, or blocked up passing and spending. >> am i not correct in saying owe obama first delegated to
harry reid and when mcconnell felt frustrated reid wasn't serious, he delegated to biten. obama -- biden. obama announced this was the way it was going to be. that's his assumption going in. he's not a negotiator. es a' lecturer -- he's a lecturer. >> he's not an lbj type that grabs lapels. >> i think he feels he has the answer. he thought about this. this is the way it s. he has a high iq. we all admit to that. he's gifted in many rays but he's -- many ways but he's got the answer. >> one of the thing, he's trying to-- >> how can you say if you don't conform to him, it doesn't work when you set the whole thing up saying the democrats -- excuse me. let me finish. that the democrats say he gives away too much. you've got this narrative now being advanced. the republicans are trying to shift blame to obama saying he doesn't socialize enough. he doesn't pay enough attention
to their tender egos. that is total nonsense. >> not only is he an intro vert -- obama, president obama is an intro vert and that can be a virtue but he too frequently insuperintendents the motivations of the republicans he's dealing with. on gun control he said well, maybe it's because you care about people buying more guns. [ multiple voices ] >> 2010 obama got just about everything he wanted because he had a liberal house and he had a liberal senate and he got it. he now has a conservative party controlling the house of representatives and he can't get it because it's a blocking force. [ multiple voices ] >> no one in washington is blameless for gridlock. but which is more to blame for
the lack of political compromise? the house republicans? the senate democrats? or the white house? >> the house republicans and barack obama profoundly disagree on the direction of the country. they disagree on moral, cultural, fiscal and social issues. that's-- >> i don't want a divided answer. i want who is the bigger or biggest culprit? >> well, obama proposes and they reject. >> he can't bear to say it's the republicans' fault. the tea party republicans are obviously the fault in the house. and the senate republicans bear the brunt of abusing the filibuster, the point where they've used it 385 times while reid has been the leader. it was used once when lyndon johnson was the speaker and that was the great civil rights battle. it's a total misuse and abuse of power. >> harry reid should not get a free pass. he has prevented republicans from ever offering amendments on a lot of these important
votes. his management of the senate is imperious and when republicans have allowed things to move to a vote, not filibuster them, he still prohibited republican amendments so he bears at least half the blame for what's going on in the senate. >> this is a democracy. it shouldn't work that way. >> obama says he likes ronald reagan historically speaking. how far removed from ronald reagan is he in terms of his ability to deal? >> well, first of all, i think he's saying he liked ronald reagan. he wouldn't have liked ronald reagan had he been in the senate at the time. i don't think he's effective as a leader getting things done. >> [ multiple voices ] >> he called reagan transformational and fdr transformational, both who were. >> but he could deal.
>> tim's delighted things aren't getting done. >> i don't want global warming- - >> you support status quo? >> that's what the house republicans do, support the status quo. the senate republicans, they have 385 filibusters. that says it all. >> well, i think it was pretty clear-- >> the president has already achieved monumental things. overhaul of the health care. universal health care for starters. second term he's going to get immigration reform and i think he's going to get gun control, too. >> you see some of his selections so far. the defense secretary. you think that he's -- is lou going to be playing some kind of a role whereby he's going to be able to let obama become more of a negotiator? i think that's one of lou's strengths, that he does know congress and that this will help obama in
e two. malice in mali. this afternoon french armed forces lend supports to units of the maliian army to fight against terrorists. the operation will last as long as needed. last friday france invoked united nations security council resolutions and then intervened in the civil war raging in the north african country of mali. the u.n. resolutions call for quote, unquote rapid deployment of foreign troops and was passed after islamist rebels in the country's northern sector launched a military assault on southern mali in a bid to take over the country. the rebel forces include al qaeda and the islamist abbreviated to aqim. it established itself in mali following the overthrow of moammar qaddafi, libya's strong
man. aqim has established strict islamist law in northern mali and destroyed dozens of aish went movings -- ancient mosques and tombs. the united nations has declared it a culture heritage site. the french president asked the u.s. to help france's military in using manpower and drones. >> question, what's at stake for the u.s. in mali? >> clearly, we and the rest of the world don't really want the al qaeda affiliate to establish its roots there. the government is weak. it's not a democratic government. and so defense secretary leon panetta has said that the u.s. government is willing to assist the french with logistics and intelligence. the drones you mentioned are not -- they would not be armed drones. they would be intelligence gathering drones but the french have taken the lead on n. i think so far the u.s. is standing on the side lienls pretty much -- sidelines pretty much cheering them on because
it's an important mission. >> we've sent 55,000 americans there according to-- >> 50 million? >> what is it? 550 americans and they are there not as soldiers but there to help with equipment and so forth. >> this is an area, northern mali is an area the size of texas. and you've got-- >> twice the size of texas. >> you have al qaeda in there and the french with 500 troops. they're not going to recapture that place. they're going to use air power. the french are getting themselves into something. if they go there and try to take that back, they'll be in another guerrilla war like they were in algeria. >> the lesson that we learned, we go back to libya and there were warntionz. if we go -- were warnings. if we go and intervene in libya and help the civil war along and make sure qaddafi is overthrown, this will increase the flow of guns into places like mali.
it will increase the flow of refugees and creates this instability. the aqim organization was spawned in part during the civil war in libya. >> what are we arguing? that we do nothing? >> this showed when we went into libya, people underestimated the cost. this is one of the copses we're see -- costs we're seeing here. as we look at what we might did in mali, we can prevent lots of bad stuff from happening but what are going to be the long- term costs? >> what's your understanding of how many al qaeda are in mali? >> a lot. the whole region has pat mentioned under their control is the largest al qaeda held territory in the world right now. and that -- there's very little interest by either the french or us in going in there and taking them out. they're going to be there for a while. even the president said we'll be out in a week, talking to
his own week. when you say you're going to be out in a week-- >> you know, this is the balance that the administration is faced with in a lot of places. you can't withdraw and just look on and do nothing. you don't want to go in with boots on the ground. we don't want to commit to another war. you take these half measures. you don't know how they're going to turn out. >> once a couple of americans are killed over there by aqu mi -- owe aqim-- >> wait till they start blowing up cafes in paris. they're going to get the african states nearby to do it but they've got little 500-men components that is too large a place to take with those few troops. >> panetta says that they are of no threat, the people there, to the u.s., to the homeland. but this is the time that you have to begin to try to cut them off at the pass. >> again, i think you're going to see the belowback in paris
-- blow back paris-- >> you can't just not do anything. it's fine to sit and-- >> why not? >> because this is an ally that went in there and we are threatened by -- [ multiple voices ] >> they were thrown out of libya and went there. >> you had the luxury-- >> we drove them out with all this equipment and then ansr -- our guys we trained in the capital. they overthrow the government there. >> do you approve of 5500 americans being over there? >> look, if the americans are helping the feds, you've got to help the feds in what they're doing but the french better watch what they're doing. >> the problem is just like with afghanistan by leaving alki today alone over there -- al qaeda alone over there, they ended up attacking us. you can't leave them sitting in mali forever. i'm sure we're going to have
constant surveillance but beyond surveillance, you have to take some kind of action eventually. >> we do have to wage war on al qaeda and that might be what we're doing. >> we've heard talk that al qaeda is kind of disappeared from the scene. we don't have to worry that much about al qaeda anymore. it's been mothballed. does this give new life to that? >> when you talk about al qaeda central -- al qaeda is still alive and well in different affirmative actional groups like aqim and in the saudi peninsula. around the planet you still got islamic militant movements out there either al qaeda or-- >> could wind up with one in syria. >> it's twice the size of texas. literacy rate 46%. life expectancy 52 years. government is a republic. the chief of state is-- >> normally a republic --
formally a republic. >> five-year term elected. political parties many. i counted at least 15. gdp per capita, what do you think it is? >> probably a thousand dollars. >> $1,300. you're still with t. men and women dominantly female about four million. and airports with paved runways. how many? how many airports with paved runways in mali? >> three. >> eight. >> how many do we have with paved runways? do you know how many? >> hard to count them all. >> probably ten. >> the government has been overthrown by the military guy we trained. he grabbed power. >> secretary panetta said that the u.s. is not in a position to train the mali military because it's not a democracy. >> they defected to the al qaeda, all the guys we trained. >> are we doing this because of france or are we doing it
because we know al qaeda is there? >> ultimately there's a threat to the u.s. down the road. but france is an ally and, yes, we're doing it because of france. >> primarily because of france? >> pry pearl-- >> -- pry pearl-- >> -- primarily-- >> what did lafayette do for the united states? what did he do? >> he was aide to camp to washington. >> what else did he do? >> he almost got his head cut off in the french revolution. >> nato has to do -- if france is attacked, we'd help defend france. it doesn't mean if france goes to war, we go to war. >> it's something that is felt between allies. >> do you think we'll gain everything from helping out-- >> obama doesn't want to get involved but i think we have to help in terms of what we're doing right now. >> u.s. is not involved but these are former french colonies. they have an opgaition and a -- obligation and a cultural
history that ties them to those two countries but they don't do anything without the united states making a move. >> it's a thin edge of the wedge. the camel's nose in the tent. you know what i mean? the camel goes in the tent. we're going to go into the mali tent. is that the name of the game? the first thing that's going to occur to americans when they see and hear this. >> the camel has been in the tent in iraq and in afghanistan. the camel is going to be very nervous. >> you remember how we [ inaudible conversation ] >> in cavern decided exchange last year with outgoing russian president, president obama was caught unaware, first on a
microphone and then on camera. the missile defense system referred to is the u.s. antimissile system based in eastern europe reportedly being built to defend against iranian rocket attacks. the following day mr. obama met with reporters to clarify what he meant by quote, unquote flexibility. quote, i think everybody understands that. if they haven't, they haven't been listening to my speeches. i want to reduce our nuclear stockpiles. and one of the barriers to doing that is building trust and cooperation around missile defense issues. and so this is for the a matter of hiding the ball. i'm a record, unquote. well, if russian president vladimir putin got obama's message, it didn't change his plans to expand and modernize russia's nuclear weaponry. notably a new nuclear submarine
armed with 16 state of the art icbms, intercontinental ballistic missiles. the new suck has been christened and it is the first of eight such subs been christe are to add it to russia's navy. question, dispute continue's defense buildup mark the beginning of a new cold war with russia? yes or no? clarence page? >> i'd say no. putin loves to play poker. this looks like a bar beganning chip to me -- bargaining chip to me. he's trying to get the rest of the world excited and let them know he's still there, still in charge. they can't afford to have another cold war. they couldn't afford the one they had before. >> the submarine is really something else. >> oh, yeah. >> you can fire as many --
we're not talking about torpedoes. >> he needs a lot more than one submarine to get back up to a cold war. >> this is the first in a fleet. what's the story on that? >> i think it's a bargaining chip. >> are the nuclear submarines-- >> we have missile submarines and regular-- >> how many submarines are equipped with the potential-- >> thy i think we have about -- i think we have about 16 americans, not all at sea at the same time. >> are we modernizing our fleet? >> we're preparing-- >> we're replacing i'm sure-- >> it's not going to be front page news in the new york daily news. >> john, the point is we both have enough weapons to deter each other. frankly, i think we're too tough on the russians. we have a lot of things to work with them on iran.
we have to get all of our stuff out of afghanistan coming through there. >> putin pretends to be concerned we're going to attack him which is obviously ridiculous. he pretends to be concerned about american parents adopting russian kids. >> who else is powerful in the world? >> china. >> he's going to lose siberia to china one of these days because the population is declining by a million people a year. that's what putin ought to be worried about. >> they've sung that song before. another century? >> they're going to lose 25 million more people yes or no answer. bipartisan bill on immigration will be passed by labor day. yes or no? >> no. >> yes. >> no. >> yes. >> why do you say that? >> i'm an optimist. that's why. >> is that the only reason? >> yes. >> the answer is yes. bye-bye.